Sunday, April 06, 2014

Battle of the Super Phones- My new gadgety baby!

Animation by GadgetGirlReviews

I'm so excited I have to take a deep breath, I have just bought my latest new gadgety baby. Those of you who follow me may have noticed my phone has been the totally ancient iPhone 3 G, bought for my birthday...eep all those years ago.  
Over the last six months I have gradually been getting madder and madder at my iPhone 3G as I go to download an app and up pops "not suitable for this device"...argh...until finally I haven't been able to get any new apps for nearly 4 months. 

Not many people have the same phone for 5 years nowadays so I think I deserve a new one. Ive been really patient BUT enough's enough....I sooo need a change as I am bored stiff with Apple now.
Sorry Apple fans but Im bored, bored, bored with the plain styling, samely looking design and no fun updatable features.

So the big phone hunt was on, do I choose the latest iPhone 5S in the hope that Apple have excelled themselves on new features or have a complete change and swap to Android, after all I love my Nexus 10.
Ooooo decisions, decisions.............

I had actually decided to maybe give Apple another chance and get the Apple iPhone 5S but after 2 months of reading reviews I changed my mind....well Im allowed to....finally I  had it down to just 2 phones; the titans of the Android world...NOT APPLE....oh...nooo's....the Samsung 4S and the HTC one.
Yep Im going over to Android, do I feel guilty...nope..not at all...there I said it!

For me I loved the styling of the HTC one with its gorgeous design and metal back. But the 4S had the edge on the phone side of things as I want to do more mobile phone photography. After nipping to my local Carphone warehouse and copping a feel of both phones and chatting to the sales team I had finally decided.

Drum roll please...I have made up my mind I want...correction...I...NEED...the Samsung 4S ...woohoo!!

I hear you saying why didn't I wait and go for the Samsung S5 coming out imminently; well again I did my homework and decided that even though it looked amazing I felt the extra features were not going to be worth the extra few hundred pounds. After all the S4 is stunning compared to my iphone 3G. Im completely happy at my choice.
Hopefully this will last another 5 years.....!

Now my question was where to buy from...well it had to be ebay for me...we are quite experienced buyers and sellers and are very careful. 

Here are some of our own guidelines for choosing the right seller to buy my phone from; of course they are our own views, yours maybe different. I know we may sound really finicky but we've been stung before and since being super careful and aware we've bought some great products for great prices with little hassle. 

 Gadget Girls EBay buying and selling tips.
I had followed eBay for nearly 2 weeks looking for the right phone to put on watch and try bidding on. By following our own guidelines we have avoided being scammed or conned.
So my guidelines for buying my S4 were;
  • Choose a "sealed" box, the seller must have taken photos so I can see all sides of the box with untorn security stickers.
  • I wanted the i9505 the latest update. (Ill explain about these 2 versions on another post.)
  • I wanted either O2, unlocked or Sim free,
  • The seller must have 99% or more feedback.
  • Seller must have no negative feedback or at least reasonable answers.
  • Seller must have hardly any neutral feedback; as people who are not happy but scared to get retaliative bad feedback'; often leave neutral feedback which can be as bad as negative.
  • Ask seller a generic question and if you don't get a response beware.
  • Seller must have more than 20 feedback. Or if not then always ask some sensible questions and you will get a feel if the seller is genuinely new to ebay, not just starting again after too much negative feedback.  I do sound bitter don't I...that's what comes with being scammed in the past!
  • Check sellers feedback, what have they bought and sold recently. If they have bought silly items like 10 golf balls to gain extra fast feedback, this could ring warning bells.
  • Finally decide in your head your highest bid and stick to it, don't get caught up in the moment.
After weeks of bidding and losing quite a few auctions as I had stuck to my price limit I had started to get a bit a downhearted and despondent and slightly annoyed...see below.

Ebay Niggle
I have got sooo annoyed at sellers who are opening the sealed phone boxes to show us a phone...argh. Its not new now is it people!!!!
Tip to sellers of new phones DONT open a sealed box to photo the contents, you can lose up to £50 or more. The moment I see that seal torn;  I can't help but think it could have been turned on or even used. There's also the chance cables, manuals etc could be missing eg; someone could have "lost" the earphones etc. 

There's absolutely no need at all to open a sealed box we all know whats inside or should do if you've done your homework! Wouldn't you prefer an unbreathed on, untouched virgin phone, unseen by human eyes since it left the factory? 
Sellers of phones or other devices please, please don't open a sealed box...don't do it...don't be tempted...step away from the box....!
I just want to see a pik of the unopened sealed box, to me that's a perfect photo.

TIP: A seller that simply turns it on without charging it ...just for photos will limit its total maximum charge that item can hold forever; costing you more in the long run. 
Okay rant anyway last week I woke up early just to see if there were any new S4 auctions added.....and low behold 6 minutes to go found my perfect S4. Slight panic as I hadn't emailed the seller to ask any of my questions but everything else seemed right. So after a tense few minutes...not thinking I would win this phone...I bid....!
A NEW unwanted upgrade, still sealed, unlocked and in black mist...arhhh....heaven!
I'm one happy bunny, I have a gorgeous sealed NEW Samsung S4 in black, I was torn between black and white and I had decided to wait for the best deal and Im so pleased I chose black its gorgeous, elegant and I lurve it.

 So here it is my sealed unwanted upgrade I bought for a great price on ebay.

 Isn't this the sexiest thing you've seen in years...even better than chocolate...well almost....sorry huny...ooops!

 Everything in the box all ready for me to play!

First Impressions
Ill touch on my first impressions as Ill be writing a full review very soon. On opening the lid for the first time...ohhhh the excitement Im like a kid at Christmas, I almost molested the postman waiting for this to arrive; the poor man.

Lifting that lid for the first time it almost took my breath away its so super sexy, I adore the S4's sleek modern design and Im so glad I chose this even though I liked the HTC Ones design.
I have had my new baby for just under 15 hours and its been glued to my hands (after leaving it to charge for the full amount of time of course.) I've been playing with it all night....and its now 7am, I haven't slept at all, I'm buzzing wanting to tell you all about it...well someone may want to know?.
The phone is still bigger than I thought it would be, that's a good thing. It feels super light in my hand even with the battery in. I found the back easy to peel on and off and it really does peel off. I love the carbon fibre look its so unique, but the thin plastic does cheapen a stunning phone. But for me its not a issue as I will get a aluminum back at a later date.

A Quickie under the hood.
Ill go into alot more detail in my full S4 review.

Wow what a contrast to my iPhone...doh...! I did however think I would be getting a mini Nexus 10 after choosing Android. Thinking it was the apps that make a device; but how wrong was I, its sooo much more. In fact its blown me away with the amount of amazing built in features the S4 has.
Its so exciting as every button swipe and app has something else behind it, Im bubbling over with enthusiasm...can you tell....

The quality of this phone is just gorgeous its fast and extremely responsive to touch. The screens slides effortlessly and with air glide you don't even need to touch the screen. You so need to see the difference between Google Earth on iPhone 3g and the S4 WOW. I may even video it just to show you what Ive been putting up with.

The camera OMG where to start...well maybe on the 13 million pixels. It beats my pro camera Canon 7D...well in pixels anyway.... The options available are amazing to the standard face recognition, to beauty shots, animate one moving subject and freeze others. My favorite option is to be taking a photo for example of your friends and you can turn on the front camera to photo yourself and it adds it to the main image; so you can always be in shot even if your behind the camera. 
Why Oh why didn't I buy a new phone years ago...jeeze!!!

What next?
Well I'm now obsessed with finding the ultimate rugged toughy case and as many accessories as I can get my hands on...shush don't tell my other half. 
Sooo...I'm back to reviewing and scrolling through eBay again.....oops! ;-)

My main priority is a folio case, all my devices have a folio as I love to surround the device keeping it safe with added protection of the screen. So yes you guessed it....I nipped onto ebay and bought a simple folio case just so I have something to keep my new baby safe, until I find the actual case I want. Review coming soon on this too.

 You know I love my butterflies, this was just gorgeous and a bargain too.

 My gorgeous Samsung S4 in its new case with free stylus.
I also got a free screen protector but I want to get a better quality one like Spigen.

So this will do for starters but I cant wait to buy some new toys for my new baby! I have a slight obsession with cases as I love a variety of styles and designs. 

So far I love the tough rugged styles like Urban Armour gear and Spigen's Slim Armor view case. But then I also enjoy the fun, cutie girlie styles too; so I may be getting a mini wardrobe for my S4.

Coming next is my full review after using it for a few weeks to give you my full opinion and lots of photos as usual.

If you have the S4 I'd love to hear what you think, are going to upgrade in a few weeks to the S5? Do you have a favorite case style you swear by, what app or accessory couldn't you do without on the S4? I'd love to hear from you, tell me your loves and hates. I'm still finding my way round.


  1. uuuu I love your case! I have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and I think it might fit mine too! Can't wait for your review for that one!

    1. Hi Caro glad you liked the case, I loved the ethereal look and they do this style in lots of phones. just posted this review. Hope it helps, thanks for popping by again.


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